For 1st Time, Most Americans Back Gay Marriage
ABC/Post survey finds 53% in favor
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2011 1:14 PM CDT
In this file photo taken June 17, 2008, a same-sex couple hold hands during their wedding ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Darryl Bush, File)

(Newser) – A new survey from ABC and the Washington Post suggests a milestone for gay rights: More than half of Americans—53% to be exact—say gay men and women should be able to legally marry. It's the first time the percentage has cracked the 50% mark in almost 10 years of surveys, and caps a steady rise in polls from a low of 32% in 2004.

What's more, majority support for same-sex marriage is no longer confined to people in their 20s: 65% of people in their 30s like the idea, up 23 percentage points since 2005, along with 52% of people in their 40s, a 17-point increase. It's good news, says liberal blogger Alex Pareene at Salon, but it probably won't make much difference to Republicans. "Because the people who don't support it really don't support it, and people who really care about opposing things make a pretty good base of political support." Click for his full column.